Where do you take a young foodie after he’s eaten his way around Paris, frequented the likes of Angelina, Ladurée, Berthillon and indulged his sweet tooth in gourmandises such as macarons and salted caramels from L’Etoile d’Or?
Brasserie Bread is an artisan bakery and café in Sydney’s suburbs that holds free Saturday baking classes for children aged between 5 and 12. The classes run for an hour with a maximum of 10 kids per class. The aim is to introduce them to the creative aspects of baking within a professional baking environment.
The classes are very popular so when I called to make a booking for my 10 year old nephew, the waiting period was nearly 7 months. Back from his Paris experience – one that was based on his auntie’s recommendations – he could barely wait to attend the baking class at Brasserie Bread.
When it comes to food, MasterGabe and I have a special relationship. We spend time together in the kitchen cooking, baking followed by his favourite activity: eating. We have long conversations centred around food, ingredients, techniques and TV cooking shows such as Heston’s Feasts and MasterChef Australia.
The class started at 10 am with the young bakers assembled in front of the flour-dusted bench. Yudha, the teacher, introduced himself to the eager group and handed out name tags. He explained that the class will involve making a pizza, a fruit loaf and a chance to get creative by making their own bread.
He started by asking what ingredients go into making dough, flour, water, yeast, salt, sugar, oil – MasterGabe’s responses made his auntie proud.
1. Pizza Making
The dough was cut into pieces which were handed out to the kids.
The young bakers took to the bench, slapping their hands onto the dough.
They smeared tomato sauce on the dough by hand, then added the various toppings to taste. There was cheese, capsicum, black olives and basil.
Once the pizzas were assembled, each young baker was allocated a number and their pizzas went into their tray.
2. Raisin and Cinnamon Bun
“It’s only flour!” Yudha told the kids as he re-dusted the benchtop with flour.
The young bakers added the raisins to the flattened dough.
They sprinkled brown sugar on top, some in copious amounts!
Tiny hands shaped the dough into a ball.
With a spatula, they made a criss-cross pattern on top.
They sprinkled cinnamon on top before their buns were put away on the large baking trays.
3. Design Your Own Bread
Yudha asked everyone what patterns or shapes of bread they would like to make. There were immediate responses as well as blank faces that were given assistance by the other children. MasterGabe said he wanted to make the Masterchef logo so Yudha asked him to draw a prototype on the bench.
“Did you audition for Junior Masterchef?” one of the girls asked him.
“No, but I wanted to!”
The young bakers took to making individual designs such as stars, spiders, handbags, flowers, butterflies.
When they finished shaping the dough, they studded it with chocolate drops.
Once the trays were ready to be taken to the oven, the class was sent back to the parents in the café. Normally, a tour of the bakery takes place but this had to be postponed due to renovations.
Meanwhile in the café, Mr G and MasterGabe’s parents were enjoying brunch, coffees and conversations.
Poached egg and crispy bacon on wholemeal toast with avocado and tomato
Poached eggs with smoked trout and parsley and fetta salad on toast
When the baking was done, the group was taken to the back where each young baker was presented with their efforts to take home.
Clockwise from top: the shark, the spider, the star and the flower.
Naturally, MasterGabe was eager to sink his teeth into his baked goods, and so was his auntie who missed out on brunch in the café but not before photographs were taken.
MasterGabe proudly presented the fruits of his labour – his artisan bread in the shape of the MasterChef logo.
In between devouring the baked goods, MasterGabe reiterated how much he enjoyed the class, praising Yudha for his teaching style, the way he engaged the group and his sense of humour.
Brasserie Bread Kids Baking Class is a fun activity and a great way to get young hands involved in the kitchen. While technically the kids don’t make the dough or bake it, they learn how simple it is to use dough and make sweet and savoury breads. The one hour class is well paced and caters for different levels in a relaxed and professional setting.
With thanks to Brasserie Bread for allowing me into the kids class to take photographs for Gourmantic. And a special thank you to Yudha, on behalf of MasterGabe.
Brasserie Bread and Bakery Café
1737 Botany Rd
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